Thursday, January 12, 2012
Merely Mystery Reading Challenge - Death Comes to Pemberly
Those expecting a fast-paced mystery plot will be disappointed. Pride and Prejudice is a genteel novel, and Death Comes to Pemberly is, invariably, genteel. There are no dramatic denouments, no high-speed horse chases or even dramatic conflict. The murder itself takes place off-stage and the climax occurs at the trial, but without the dramatic lawyers in Ace Attorney or other books.
I write all the bad things not to make the book seem boring, but to prepare the prospective readers. This book is slow but satisfying. In fact, the plot seems to be merely a vehicle to flesh out the beloved characters and give them another layer of depth - something, which I may add, is done very well.
I finished the book feeling as though I knew the characters better. Darcy's Pride vs Love conflict was interesting to read, and his perspective added to the book. In fact, I think the dominant POV was his, rather than Elizabeth's, which I didn't really mind because the original novel fleshes out her character pretty well.
The only thing I didn't like? Why didn't Wickham die? Hmm.... I wonder if this is a spoiler. But anyways, yes, contrary to the impression given by the blurb, Wickham is not murdered. It's a pity really, I was hoping that the villian gets killed off. But I supposed it's because if he really does die, then who would be cast in a negative light? Lady Catherine? It's possible but quite unlikely she would soil her hands to murder Wickham. I highly doubt she'd even condescend to spit on his dead body.
I really recommend all Pride and Prejudice friends to read this book. It's well-written and I really enjoyed reading it. It also holds true to the Jane Austen spirit, staying firmly within the created universe, unlike some other fan-works like Murder at Mansfield Park (I think it's terrible because it twists the characters. I still don't see the use of re-writing the nature of each character, because they are then no longer the characters you know and love)
As part of the reading challenge, I would place this as a historical murder mystery. Theoretically, it could also be a cozy, since there's no violence or explicit scenes, but I would prefer to use that for an Agatha Christie novel.